This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 25 -- Feast of Saint Eugenia

Yeah, it's the feast of the Nativity of Jesus the Christ, but if you want my thoughts on that, you can look here  and here and maybe even here

Eugenia, as Abbot Eugene
If I didn't lose you with those links, let me tell you a little about Saint Eugenia.  Her life, recounted in the Golden Legend, is now said to be entirely fictional.  She seems to draw the very best parts of other folks' lives and mixed it with some new stuff -- a hagiographic collage.  Here's some of the stuff that happened to her -- see what's familiar. 

1.  She dressed as a man, entered a monastery, and became an abbot.  When she healed a woman, the woman then charged her with sexual impropriety.  In court, she revealed her real identity, much to the victim's embarrassment.

2.  Her dad was a Roman judge who wound up hearing her case.  Although she had fled his home earlier, he was struck by her devout faith.  He converted, lost his job as Prefect, but became Bishop of Alexandria.  The new Prefect didn't want the public furor over arresting and executing the Bishop, but neither did he want his apostate predecessor hanging around making him look bad.  A pouch of gold, a few assassins, and a crown of martyrdom for ex-Prefect Philip.  They hit him while he was praying, and they must have been amateurs because it took him three days to die. 

3.  Her servants, Saint Hyacinth and Saint Protus, had initially converted her.  They were martyred by the Emperor Valerian's administration on September 11, 258; she was martyred on the following December 25.  Before she died, Jesus appeared to her in a dream, promising that she could be martyred on Christmas Day.  That was an impressive prediction, since Pope Julius wouldn't even proclaim that feast for another four or five decades. 

4.  The Roman officials dragged Eugenia to the temple of Diana to get her to apostatize.  She hadn't even entered the temple when the whole thing collapsed.  They tied a rock around her neck and tried to drown her but she wouldn't stay under water.  They threw her in the fire but she wouldn't burn.  They threw her in a deep pit for ten days, but she wouldn't starve or die of exposure.  So they pulled her out of the hole and beheaded her. 

5.  She appeared in a vision to her mom, announcing her own death. I'm not sure if that's comforting and thoughtful or not.  I suppose it depends on how she presented it. 

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